Original film poster
|Directed by||William Asher|
|Written by||Joseph Landon
John McPartland (novel)
Sammy Davis, Jr
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Oct 19, 1963|
Johnny Cool is a darkly violent 1963 crime film directed by William Asher based on the novel The Kingdom of Johnny Cool by John McPartland and starring Henry Silva and Elizabeth Montgomery. Produced in part by Peter Lawford, Johnny Cool features an interesting variety of notables as Johnny's associates and victims, including Mort Sahl, Telly Savalas, Jim Backus, Joey Bishop, and Sammy Davis, Jr., who also sings the theme song.
Johnny Colini, an exiled American living in Rome, rescues Salvatore Giordano, a young Sicilian outlaw, from the police. After Giordano is groomed, polished, and renamed "Johnny Cool," Colini sends him on a mission of vengeance to the United States to assassinate the men who plotted his downfall and enforced exile. Johnny arrives in New York and quickly kills several of the underworld figures on Colini's list.
Meanwhile, he picks up Darien "Dare" Guiness, a wealthy divorcée who becomes his accomplice, she is later severely beaten by the gangsters as a warning to Johnny against pursuing his vendetta. Soon the FBI becomes involved, and when Johnny and Dare bomb the Hollywood home of gangster Lennart Crandall, the police are able to identify Dare's car when she panics and leaves it parked on the street. The two had separated and planned to meet later, but Dare, abruptly realizing that Johnny is a vicious killer, tells his enemies where to find him. She then surrenders herself to the FBI, and Johnny is being tortured by his captors at the film's conclusion.
- Henry Silva as Johnny Cool / Salvatore Giordano
- Elizabeth Montgomery as Darien "Dare" Guinness
- Richard Anderson as Correspondent
- Jim Backus as Louis Murphy
- Joey Bishop as Holmes, Used Car Salesman
- Brad Dexter as Lennart Crandall
- Mort Sahl as Ben Morrow
- Telly Savalas as Vincenzo 'Vince' Santangelo
- Sammy Davis, Jr. as Educated
- Clegg Hoyt as Craps Player